+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: Was Jesus God while on earth?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ryan Pugh's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    New Orleans, La
    Posts
    485
    Post Thanks / Like

    Was Jesus God while on earth?

    This is almost the opposite of what many people ask about Jesus' divinity/humanity:

    Was Jesus God while living on earth?

    A guy I follow on Twitter said something about always remembering that the revelation of God never fully reveals God. I replied "Jesus?" and we had a conversation about Jesus being the full revelation of God. He agreed that Jesus fully revealed God through his love, compassion, justice, holiness, mercy, etc.

    But he said something that I don't think I've heard before. He believes Jesus was fully human while on earth but became divine after his death (he didn't say anything about Jesus' divinity before Jesus on earth).

    This does seem to fit with the "emptied himself" language of Philippians 2, but I can't figure it out. So... any thoughts?
    Most good things have been said far too many times and just need to be lived. - Shane Claiborne
    Thanks Paul DeBaufer - "thanks" for this post

  2. #2
    Senior Member Paul DeBaufer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Auburn, CA
    Posts
    3,860
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Pugh View Post
    This is almost the opposite of what many people ask about Jesus' divinity/humanity:

    Was Jesus God while living on earth?

    A guy I follow on Twitter said something about always remembering that the revelation of God never fully reveals God. I replied "Jesus?" and we had a conversation about Jesus being the full revelation of God. He agreed that Jesus fully revealed God through his love, compassion, justice, holiness, mercy, etc.

    But he said something that I don't think I've heard before. He believes Jesus was fully human while on earth but became divine after his death (he didn't say anything about Jesus' divinity before Jesus on earth).

    This does seem to fit with the "emptied himself" language of Philippians 2, but I can't figure it out. So... any thoughts?
    Seems Marcus Borgish, who seems to hold that Jesus divinity is a product of those biblical authors who wrote about Him.

    Hmmmm, fit with the kenosis language? I think it can. (This surely won't be well received)
    You can be right or you can be in relationship

  3. #3
    Site Manager G R 'Scott' Cundiff's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Somewhere on the road
    Posts
    5,201
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    Philippians 2
    6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
    7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
    8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!


    He was, while on earth "in very nature God."

    Nicene creed
    We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
    the only Son of God,
    eternally begotten of the Father,
    God from God, light from light,
    true God from true God,
    begotten, not made,
    of one Being with the Father;
    through him all things were made.


    Any belief that Jesus is other than God is not Christian.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Doug Ward's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Suburbs of Chicago
    Posts
    2,459
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    i think this would certainly strip our understanding of the incarnation. If I understand you correctly this model would have Jesus be 100% God and 0% man. Then at conception/implantation/birth? become 100% man and 0% God, only to revert to 100% God and 0% man at the resurrection. I think this view fails at a few basic levels. Part of the beauty of the incarnation is that Heavens and the Earth were joined together in this one life. Somehow Earth was sanctified through the presence of God made flesh. This view actually seems to be just a modified, newfound version of Docetism. Jesus was not divine, and was only human.

    We also have the healing narratives, the granting of forgiveness, and the command of nature in the Gospels. All would indicate a Jesus that was something more than mere human, however we may want to describe that.
    On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.
    Thanks Hans Deventer, Lucas Finch, Roland Hearn - "thanks" for this post

  5. #5
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    1,371
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    Certainly doesn't fit with John 1. There's probably a name for this heresy, but I can't remember. I would think it would fall under heresy, especially since it deals with the nature of Christ.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ryan Pugh's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    New Orleans, La
    Posts
    485
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    I have some thoughts and responses to those who have responded so far that I will post when I have more time, but I want it to be clear that I'm not endorsing this belief. I'm interested in exploring it and the replies so far are helpful for that. On second thought, this thread might belong in the Post Traditional Theology forum, I don't know.
    Most good things have been said far too many times and just need to be lived. - Shane Claiborne
    Thanks Paul DeBaufer, Lucas Finch - "thanks" for this post

  7. #7
    Senior Member Paul DeBaufer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Auburn, CA
    Posts
    3,860
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Pugh View Post
    I have some thoughts and responses to those who have responded so far that I will post when I have more time, but I want it to be clear that I'm not endorsing this belief. I'm interested in exploring it and the replies so far are helpful for that. On second thought, this thread might belong in the Post Traditional Theology forum, I don't know.
    I think post traditional would be a better place for the discussion
    You can be right or you can be in relationship

  8. #8
    Senior Member Benjamin Burch's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    San Diego, California, United States
    Posts
    6,855
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Farra View Post
    There's probably a name for this heresy, but I can't remember.
    Ebionitism

    Quote Originally Posted by Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Ch. 27
    The ancients quite properly called these men Ebionites, because they held poor and mean opinions concerning Christ. For they considered him a plain and common man, who was justified only because of his superior virtue, and who was the fruit of the intercourse of a man with Mary.... they... refused to acknowledge that he pre-existed, being God, Word, and Wisdom,
    - Ben

    Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
    Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Benjamin Burch's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    San Diego, California, United States
    Posts
    6,855
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul DeBaufer View Post
    Seems Marcus Borgish, who seems to hold that Jesus divinity is a product of those biblical authors who wrote about Him.
    For Borg, Jesus was not divine, but became divine after resurrection, which Borg understands as being a "spiritual" resurrection, not physical.

    I think. I'd have to refresh myself on Borg!
    - Ben

    Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
    Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Paul DeBaufer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Auburn, CA
    Posts
    3,860
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Burch View Post
    For Borg, Jesus was not divine, but became divine after resurrection, which Borg understands as being a "spiritual" resurrection, not physical.

    I think. I'd have to refresh myself on Borg!
    Somewhere between what I said and what you're saying, kind of a superposition of states
    You can be right or you can be in relationship

  11. #11
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    1,584
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Pugh View Post
    This is almost the opposite of what many people ask about Jesus' divinity/humanity:

    Was Jesus God while living on earth?

    A guy I follow on Twitter said something about always remembering that the revelation of God never fully reveals God. I replied "Jesus?" and we had a conversation about Jesus being the full revelation of God. He agreed that Jesus fully revealed God through his love, compassion, justice, holiness, mercy, etc.

    But he said something that I don't think I've heard before. He believes Jesus was fully human while on earth but became divine after his death (he didn't say anything about Jesus' divinity before Jesus on earth).

    This does seem to fit with the "emptied himself" language of Philippians 2, but I can't figure it out. So... any thoughts?
    If one wants to state Jesus always was so be it. However the end result is He is the Son and is all that the Father is. The Jesus that was (all that the Father is) occupied that Human body.

    Randy
    "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"
    (Psalms 27:1)

  12. #12
    Host Theology Forum Dennis M. Scott's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Windham, New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,990
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    Immanuel

  13. #13
    Senior Member Hans Deventer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 1998
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    7,573
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul DeBaufer View Post
    I think post traditional would be a better place for the discussion
    You are right. Moved it.
    Love the sinner, hate the sin? Love the sinner and hate your own sin! - Tony Campolo
    Thanks Paul DeBaufer - "thanks" for this post

  14. #14
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    1,584
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    Paul was a Christian

    yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.


    Jesus was the Him not the fullness. (Firstborn)


    "The fullness was pleased to dwell in HIM" Jesus testified that the one in HIM was the Father and in that manner He and the Father were ONE.

    Is Jesus God?

    Jesus never dies as He lives forever by the Living Father in Him

    Yes, He is all that the Father is
    No, He has always been the Son (Firstborn of all Creation)

    Church of the Firstborn

    But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.


    Jesus as Firstborn Son has His own spirit and mind as in "Father into your hands I commit "My Spirit"

    The Father has always been the God of Jesus
    But about the Son he says,

    “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;
    a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
    9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
    therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions
    by anointing you with the oil of joy.”[e]

    You also know Jesus openly taught the Father was His God.

    So if you want to state Jesus always was and always was God you will need to continue the reasoning for such a statement as a "mystery"

    Randy
    "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"
    (Psalms 27:1)

  15. #15
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    1,584
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Pugh View Post
    This does seem to fit with the "emptied himself" language of Philippians 2, but I can't figure it out. So... any thoughts?
    It doesn't mean Jesus was emptied of the Father. In fact Jesus taught that it was the Father in Him doing His work. Jesus also taught the Father taught Him what to say and how to state things (Very Words of God) Jesus taught if you seen Him you have seen the Father for the Son does what He sees the Father doing.

    I think putting on flesh (human body) means Jesus had to learn to rely on the Fathers help as He had the limitations of that body just like us and it was in that weakness that Jesus overcame the world in our behalf. The miracles (works) were performed by Gods Holy Spirit at Jesus's will openly showing God was with Him and showing the Son had authority to give life and forgive sin. Even the storms obeyed Jesus's command.

    Randy
    "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"
    (Psalms 27:1)

  16. #16
    Dan Henderson
    Guest

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    This topic has come up a lot in recent local sermons and Bible studies. "Fully God and Fully Human". I have heard many people use different ways of explaining this. Some were confusing, other's not as much. I am content accepting this statement without being able to fully comprehend it. I don't even call myself ingnorant or backwards because I don't fully comprehend. I aclually think in this area I'm finally starting to demonstrate some wisdom by admitting (to myself especially) that I am not wise.
    Thanks Paul DeBaufer, Hans Deventer - "thanks" for this post

  17. #17
    Senior Member Paul DeBaufer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Auburn, CA
    Posts
    3,860
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Henderson View Post
    This topic has come up a lot in recent local sermons and Bible studies. "Fully God and Fully Human". I have heard many people use different ways of explaining this. Some were confusing, other's not as much. I am content accepting this statement without being able to fully comprehend it. I don't even call myself ingnorant or backwards because I don't fully comprehend. I aclually think in this area I'm finally starting to demonstrate some wisdom by admitting (to myself especially) that I am not wise.
    Hypostatic union is one of the mysteries of God. We, us humans raised in post-Enlightenment Modernity, have this penchant for trying to reduce everything to our understanding, removing the mystery. I am happy to live with and in the mystery.
    You can be right or you can be in relationship
    Thanks Hans Deventer, Lucas Finch - "thanks" for this post

  18. #18
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    1,584
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis M. Scott View Post
    Immanuel
    Yes but indirectly, that is "God came down to us through the Son"

    I expect where God the Father goes His glory follows. He should make use of that glory as a light for a city with the name "New Jerusalem".
    "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"
    (Psalms 27:1)

  19. #19
    Senior Member Ryan Pugh's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    New Orleans, La
    Posts
    485
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Ward View Post
    i think this would certainly strip our understanding of the incarnation.
    I wonder if it actually might help us capture some of the pure wonder and beauty of God becoming human. Usually we get so stuck on Jesus being fully God that maybe we lose some of that wonder of God actually becoming one of us.


    If I understand you correctly this model would have Jesus be 100% God and 0% man. Then at conception/implantation/birth? become 100% man and 0% God, only to revert to 100% God and 0% man at the resurrection.
    Or, it could be postulated that the Word was 100% God, the Word became 100% human in Jesus of Nazareth, and Jesus of Nazareth became 100% God and 100% human upon his death/resurrection.

    I think this view fails at a few basic levels. Part of the beauty of the incarnation is that Heavens and the Earth were joined together in this one life. Somehow Earth was sanctified through the presence of God made flesh.
    Jesus is still God made flesh, though, as described above.

    We also have the healing narratives, the granting of forgiveness, and the command of nature in the Gospels. All would indicate a Jesus that was something more than mere human, however we may want to describe that.
    Yes, we do have all those. But we also have Jesus telling his disciples that they will do even greater things than he did.
    Most good things have been said far too many times and just need to be lived. - Shane Claiborne
    Thanks Paul DeBaufer - "thanks" for this post

  20. #20
    Host Book, Movie & CE forums Ryan Scott's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Middletown, DE
    Posts
    7,414
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    I still prefer the mystery to the explanation.

    This question does tangentially touch on one I've been pondering lately: we affirm three persons in one God and theologians are (generally) quite specific about referring to the unity of the three persons as God, whilst keeping the distinctives of each, distinct (don't say Jesus when you mean God; don't use Father and God interchangeably, etc).

    I recognize a certain amount of specificity and speculation here that likely results from trying to keep our logic intact - however, I'm not sure why a fully divine, human Christ would need to possess all of the attributes/abilities/responsibilities of God in order to still be fully divine?
    ...just my $.02.
    Thanks Ryan Pugh - "thanks" for this post

  21. #21
    Senior Member Benjamin Burch's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    San Diego, California, United States
    Posts
    6,855
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Pugh View Post
    I wonder if it actually might help us capture some of the pure wonder and beauty of God becoming human. Usually we get so stuck on Jesus being fully God that maybe we lose some of that wonder of God actually becoming one of us.
    I agree with Doug, here. Just because we have a tendency to devolve into Appolinarianism and Monophysitism on the one hand doesn't mean we should go the complete opposite direction.

    While this may put a great emphasis on "God becoming one of us", it destroys much of the Gospel narratives and our soteriology based in the Incarnation.



    Start at 3:40

    Did humanity come face to face with God? Or did humanity come face to face with God-no-longer-God-but-just-flesh?

    Quote Originally Posted by St. Gregory of Nazianzus
    That which was not assumed is not healed; but that which is united to God is saved
    The second part of that is so crucial. We are not saved and healed merely because "God took on flesh" but because the human and the divine were united, bringing humanity up to the divine.

    God did not merely share in our nature. Instead, we affirm that we partake in the divine nature.

    Or, it could be postulated that the Word was 100% God, the Word became 100% human in Jesus of Nazareth, and Jesus of Nazareth became 100% God and 100% human upon his death/resurrection.
    So the one who tells the man to pick up his mat and walk is no longer God, but simply Once-God-now-human?

    Better question: How did he resurrect? Was it because God was kind enough to be faithful to him? Or was it because death and hell cannot contain our God?

    Jesus is still God made flesh, though, as described above.
    Ah, but only flesh.


    Yes, we do have all those. But we also have Jesus telling his disciples that they will do even greater things than he did.
    The hypostatic union is incredibly important here as it calls us to understand the kenotic language. I agree with what you're saying here for the most part.

    God became flesh and limited Godself to humanness. God was still God, though, only "in human form". Thus, Jesus, the divine Logos rested and relied on God the Father and the Holy Spirit for his miracles on earth, and through this union of God and humanity, we have been brought up to such a state that through the same Spirit we may do even greater things.

    However, it still requires that we have been "brought up" and made to "partake in the divine nature."
    - Ben

    Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death! And to those in the tombs, bestowing life!
    Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν, θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας! καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι, ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!
    Thanks Ryan Pugh - "thanks" for this post

  22. #22
    Senior Member Roland Hearn's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    628
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Was Jesus God while on earth?

    We could call it the bipolar Jesus disorder. There is the slow cycling manic depressive Jesus – He was God, became man and became God again and then we have the fast cycling disorder where Jesus was both God and man and flipped back and forwards between the two as need presented itself. If he needed to work a miracle he used his God nature, if he needed to weep or not know something he used his humanity.



    Then of course we have traditional orthodoxy – very God and very man. He chose to limit himself to humanity and not act out of his God nature but that did not mean that any given time he was less than very God. I like this position.
    Thanks Benjamin Burch, Steven Burton, Ryan Pugh, Lucas Finch - "thanks" for this post

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts